The retail industry is still recovery from the recession. Hope there is no other recession meanwhile. But as the industry moves to ramp us sales even this summer, one pattern has emerged which is increasinlyg mobile apps have become a business tool to win customers. According to a leading global market research firm, IDC, customer loyalty applications and CRM innovations have become the key drivers of retailers’ go-to-market strategies.
The IDC report shows that the top 3 customer expectations from loyalty programs are transparent management of loyalty programs, access to special services and personalized promotions, and access to a wider range of products matching personal preferences. This is where technology is making a contribution. Retailers are increasingly integrating their operations with the latest technology, including mobiles apps. In the report, Ivano Ortis, international head of IDC Retail Insights was quoted on the importance of these apps on enhancing operations and improving customer loyalty.
“The mobile targeted retailing and rewarding approach is most likely what customers expect from a leading customer-centric retailer. We believe that the ability to create and foster loyalty, enhanced by the delivery of new services, is the key issue for retailer to obtain repeated and long-term customer engagements. With better insight into demand dynamics and customer behavior provided by loyalty applications, retailers can measure the real increase of customer retention, providing an opportunity to drive repeated, larger, and more profitable customer transactions. Retailers must choose the loyalty management applications that deliver higher flexibility, scalability, and responsiveness to optimize the customer experience.”
It is about innovation which is the key driver of this industry. You need to find and keep the customers. In order to address consumers’ expectations and add value to the “earn points to redeem” schemes, it is imperative to look at loyalty management within its wider ecosystem. The following are some key findings from the study.
- Loyalty is moving beyond points and discounts to become an integral part of a more encompassing customer experience that will support same-shopper sales and gain of market share to increase or recover competitive advantage.
- Omnichannel retailers use insights to identify and understand a core group of most valued customers. From there, they can predict what might motivate changes in shopping behavior that will make them even more loyal.
- Mobile loyalty applications represent an element of innovation that meets customer’s demand for real-time, profile-relevant, and location-based information.